Potential students should initially register an interest by contacting ThinkSpace Education directly.
Have a good look at the program details and make sure you meet all the academic, personal, financial and technical requirements. I’m sure you’ll have plenty of questions so please get in touch and we can discuss whether the course is right for you. We are happy to listen to your music and give you informal opinions as to whether you are working at the right level for entry to our postgraduate programs.
Remember however that this is only an informal guide and no guarantee of entry.
When you are sure you are ready to apply for the program, go to the course page and click the “apply now” button. This will take you to our store, where you can pay the non-returnable application fee of $100.
Once your payment has been processed you will be issued with a login to our online campus. The application pack will be added to the “My Courses” page.
We will need your personal details, along with information regarding your academic, musical and technical background. If you are offered a place, we will require copies of a number of documents including those confirming your academic history, identity and language ability where English is not your first language.
For the composition-based courses you will be asked to submit 10-15 minutes of music (possibly with scores too for those that include orchestration) from a portfolio.
‘Game Music and Audio’ will require similar things, but you’ll also be asked to include examples of sound design work* as part of your portfolio. For the ’Sound Design for Video Games’ application you’ll only be asked for sound design work as part of your portfolio submission.
*By “sound design work”, we mean examples of:
– Audio editing, music editing, dialogue editing
– Mixing music and audio to picture
– Studio tracking, field recording, Foley,
– Bespoke, practical or musical sound design.
There will also be tasks/a task to complete in relation to the course you’re applying for, so we can assess you ability to complete some of the basic things required to study with us – so make sure you are familiar with the requirements for the course you’re applying for before purchasing the application. These are blind tasks and are not released outside of the application pack itself, purely in the interest of fairness to all potential students.
What We’re Looking For
The Admissions panel will listen to your portfolio and read all the supporting documents carefully. If you have been asked to perform an additional entry test then we will consider that as well.
The following sections will give you some idea of what we’re looking for.
The foundation of any career is your creative ability. We want to hear your potential, not necessarily where you are now. We want to hear some evidence of the foundational musical and creative skills upon which careers are built. A competent demo, showing good evidence of your ability to composer, whether that be in electronically, orchestrally or in any other style. We are also listening for evidence of significant obstacles like the inability to hear problems with the harmonic coherence of your music for example, very poor production or technical skills, things like that. We don’t expect you to have amazing sample libraries but we are listening for evidence that you have the basic equipment to produce music.
We are looking for great creative musicians in whatever style you have chosen to make your own. However, with our orchestration and professional composer and orchestrator courses, we are looking for good evidence of a high level of proficiency in music theory. On all the other courses, this is not as important. A great sound designer or electronic musician with very little music theory could do equally well in the profession and so we would welcome them onto Professional Media Composition or our games courses.
However a good level of technical ability, good knowledge of your primary software, is important on all our courses but particularly the games courses, both MFA’s and Professional Media Composition.
While it’s definitely desirable to have a good level of technical skill, complete fluency with a DAW or Sibelius for example is not always necessary, but we do need to be sure that you have the appropriate level of technical ability to begin the course. Our courses move fast and make significant demands on the students from the start. A certain level of competence in key technologies needs to be demonstrated so we can be reasonably sure they won’t fall behind.
Applicants are required to have successfully completed a first degree in any subject. A limited number of places are available for non-degree holders– see below. We assume that completion of a first degree shows the applicant has the required level of academic ability to complete the course. Where applicants have been out of education for some time or come from a very different discipline, we provide additional support through one to one tutorials during their course.
Technical Resources, Software and Hardware
There is a minimum technical requirement to be able to complete the course. This is mainly a minimum computer specification and what software the applicant uses. Minimum specifications and software requirements are published on the website and potential students frequently contact the Course Manager to discuss their particular workflow. While we are not dogmatic about choose of software, there are sometimes features which will be required of which the potential student may not be aware. An example is support for a wide range of timecode standards including 23.98fps, frequently required I the industry and not always supported on all software platforms.
If you realise that your technical resources are not up to the job, but plan to upgrade, then that is, within reason, perfectly acceptable. Many students will need funding like a Career Development Loan before they can make a major purchase. They might want to wait to qualify for a educational discount before purchasing costly software. While we give them advice, ultimately however it is the student’s responsibility to ensure they have sufficient technical resources to compete the course.
English Language Test (IELTS)
For applicants who’s first language is not english, we will need you to provide an English language test certificate.
There are several English language tests, including IELTS, TOEFL and CAE. We require you to have an overall score of IELTS 6.5 or higher to participate in the programme, with no element less than a score of 6. This equates to a TOEFL score of 79 and a CAE score of 176.
The test must be taken before your course start date. Applications may be accepted provisionally pending test results.
If you have completed your undergraduate degree, or any other postgraduate degree that was taught in English you will not need to take an English Language test.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the process for recognising learning that has come from experience and/or previous formal, non-formal and informal learning.
This could include knowledge and skills gained within school, college and university and outside formal learning situations such as through life and work experiences or even through a hobby.
RPL can be used by a wide range of people either to help them re-enter learning or to contribute towards a programme of learning or simply to identify their skills in order to progress in their career.
People wishing to claim RPL may not have a strong academic education – but they do need to be keen to learn from and about their own experiences and about themselves. It is important to stress that recognition is given for what has been learned from experience and not for the experience itself.
RPL is an option for entry onto our postgraduate courses, but the portfolio is not all we look at and previous professional experience is paramount here. RPL applicants must provide evidence of professional practice and experience. Further to this we would like to know how you have learned from those professional experiences and how it helped to inform future practice. You would do this as part of your application.
It is also worth noting that we can only take a certain percentage of RPL applicants, so competition is extremely high. Unfortunately we’ve had to turn away many perfectly capable musicians for this reason. That said, it is still an option we encourage and is well worth pursuing if you feel that you can demonstrate the above.
What to Submit
In addition to the required paperwork, you will need to submit the following:
Some Important Things to Remember:
Audio files exported directly from a score editor like Sibelius or Finale will not be sufficient. You must submit either MP3 mockups created with sample libraries or live recordings.
We are looking for music that demonstrates your ability to write competent music in a variety of styles and produce a reasonable quality sampled mock-up using a Digital Audio Workstation (Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools etc.).
Applicants will need to demonstrate evidence of a solid base on which to build, both musically and technically, and the potential to develop as a media composer.
If you do not possess any formal musical qualifications you will be required to take a music theory test.
The music/sound design must be all your own work.
Where you have used construction kits, loops, or any other pre-recorded audio that is not your own work you will need to make that clear. You do not need to tell us if you have used drum or percussion loops, but anything else needs to be declared in the covering letter.
Your covering letter is particularly important, especially for those without a first degree (RPL). Your letter should include:
- Your name and email address.
- Why you feel this course is suitable for you.
- Further details of your relevant prior experience.
- The technical resources at your disposal, your DAW, your main sound libraries so we can take this into account.
- You can include any other information you feel may be relevant when we listen to your music.
Follow the instructions on the application page to upload your completed application and supporting materials.
My name is Bradley and I’m the student support manager here at ThinkSpace. If you have any questions that you’d like answering, please don’t hesitate to fill in the contact form below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.